Friday Five: Eclectic Writer Edition

As so many of us do at the end of the year, I spent time last month cleaning out various physical and digital spaces. You know how it goes when you clean out spaces you haven’t touched in a long while – you find all sorts of garbage and treasures long forgotten. I found a nice little pile of links I thought strung together nicely, both with each other and with my goal for fitting a steady writing practice into my voiceover schedule this year.

There are posts here for the undiscovered, the newly published, and the veteran, so enjoy!

1. John Scalzi, past SWFA president and friend to writers new and established, wrote this great article almost two years ago (a really long forgotten treasure!) explaining to new writers facing their first contract just how powerful their position is in negotiations. If you’re pursuing publication, you will want to sit down, read this, and mark it up.

2. Many writers have their own method for organizing their writing. Some prefer physical notebooks and binders; others digital notetaking apps. But I’m always interested in hearing how other writers organize their work because you can often pick up a trick or two you may not have thought of before. Wendy Van Camp’s Novel Reference Journal isn’t anything new to me. I do the same thing digitally on Evernote. But it’s a great, relatively simple method for keeping information organized and quickly accessible.

3. I like Sherlock Holmes. I like adaptations. I’m a feminist. And I’m currently re-reading the Sherlock Holmes stories in my free time (heh), trying to take a closer look at how Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are adapting the stories for Sherlock. One of the problems in the series, and in pretty much every modern attempt at retelling Sherlock Holmes, is that no one seems capable of presenting Irene Adler as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did. It almost always feels like you’re seeing, in fanfic terms, Irene Adler (OOC). (OOC means “out of character”.) I’m not the only one who’s noticed this…

4. You hear so often people thanking talent scouts, agents, or other people in similar positions for taking a chance on them. Athletes and creatives are especially bad about this. But here’s the deal: Those scouts, agents, and what-have-you are all businessmen. They aren’t “taking a chance”; they’re pursuing what they see as a reasonably secure business risk. It’s very calculated, and the article does a great job laying this out.

5. This week’s final link is a nod to my weakness for cool toys and games that enable storytelling. Rory’s Story Cubes is a set of dice, an image on each face. The goal is to roll them, and then tell a story that connects all of the images facing up. I can see this being a lot of fun with a group of friends or strangers, and I can see this as potentially being useful for breaking through writer’s block.

All right, so…another week down. If you’re enjoying these posts, feel free to let me know. If you find something useful in these links, let me know. If you just want to say hi, feel free.


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